Sen. Warren Proposes Sanctions Compliance Law for Crypto Firms

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Four Democratic United States senators want to prohibit cryptocurrency platforms from conducting business with sanctioned companies and people, reported Thursday (March 17).

The measure — introduced by Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Jack Reed, D-R.I., Mark Warner, D-Va., and Jon Tester, D-Mont. — would allow the president to add foreign cryptocurrency firms to the sanctions list if they aid blacklisted Russians with dodging sanctions in light of the war on Ukraine.

Under the terms of the proposed Digital Assets Sanctions Compliance Enhancement Act, the White House would be required to identify any foreigner who operates a crypto exchange or facilitates digital asset transactions by Russians on the Office of Foreign Asset Control’s sanctions list.

The president could also sanction these exchange operators unless there was a national security interest in not doing so, the draft legislation said.

The bill extends beyond Russian sanctions. One provision would authorize the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to identify users transacting with more than $10,000 in cryptocurrency.

“Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network shall require United States persons engaged in a transaction with a value greater than $10,000 in digital assets through [one] or more accounts outside of the United States to file a report,” the bill said.

This week, the British government added 350 new listings under its slate of Russian sanctions and nine new listings under its list of cybersecurity sanctions.

Related: U.K. Adds 350 Sanctions Against Russia

Among those in the latest round of sanctions include Andrey Melnichenko, who owned fertilizer producer EuroChem Group and coal company SUEK; Pyotr Aven, an oil investor who built a European business empire with an estimated net worth of $4.7 billion, and Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu.